After months of rumors, Mike Brem has officially entered the race for Turlock Mayor.
Brem filed a candidate intention statement on Tuesday, per the Turlock City Clerk’s website. He released an official press release on Thursday afternoon announcing his candidacy.
“I am running for Mayor to ensure that the town in which I started a business and raised my children continues to afford its residents the best shot at attaining a happy and prosperous life,” Brem said. “I have spent my life working in the private sector to create jobs and will bring this experience to the table in order to give a voice to the hardworking families and small businesses that make up the lifeblood of our city.”
Brem moved to Turlock in 1992, founding SupHerb Farms. He recently retired as president of the firm, a Turlock-based company that is the largest frozen herb and specialty vegetable processor in North America. SupHerb Farms now employs more than 125 employees.
Brem is a 14-year member of the Turlock Planning Commission, a commission which he chaired until December. He is the chair of the Turlock Mayor’s Economic Development Task Force, the past president of the Rotary Club of Turlock, and a member of the Turlock Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee. Brem sought appointment to a vacant Turlock Irrigation District Director seat in 2009.
He has been married to his wife, Tina, for 37 years, with two sons and four grandchildren.
Brem says he will work as mayor to ensure tax revenue is spent efficiently, that the city lives within its means, and that public safety is well-funded. He will use his private industry experience to drive economic development, he says.
Though long rumored as a mayoral candidate, Brem repeatedly told TurlockCityNews.com that his “mind was not made up “ over the past several months.
Brem announced Thursday that he has earned support from “a growing list of local community leaders,” including sitting Turlock Mayor John Lazar.
“Mike is my choice for Turlock Mayor,” Lazar said. “He possesses the experience and leadership to benefit our community in the years ahead.”
Brem also says he has the support of attorneys, pharmacists, realtors, small business owners, and other city councilmembers.
“Mike is the right man for the job,” Turlock City Councilman Steven Nascimento said. “I have no doubt that he will uphold the values of our community and provide the kind of stable leadership we have come to expect in Turlock.”
Brem’s main challenger, Gary Soiseth, a farmer who also works for the Modesto Irrigation District, welcomed Brem to the race.
"Mike and I spoke after I announced my candidacy and we have much that we agree on, but some that we don't,” Soiseth said. “He is a man of integrity and he will keep his campaign focused on the issues.
“This race is about the future of Turlock, and I believe I have a clear and bold vision for our city that sets me apart,” Soiseth continued. “I look forward to a healthy debate with Mike in the coming months."
One other Turlocker, Ed Brault has announced his candidacy for Mayor of Turlock. But Brault, a retired teacher and former columnist for the Turlock Journal, said he was only running to give Soiseth competition, and would likely drop out should another challenger appear.
Lazar previously announced his candidacy, but then dropped out of the race shortly after Soiseth announced his intention to run. Lazar said he wished to spend more time with his family.
For more information, visit www.MikeBrem.com.